Real Review’s stark protest

by Steve Watson in March 2024
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Current affairs

I’m only just getting around to reading the latest issue of Real Review. I knew they had stripped all images out of the magazine in response to the war in Gaza, but I hadn’t properly understood the idea behind doing so. I suppose I’d assumed they wanted to make some kind of protest, so they had removed the images in a show of sacrifice – an effective way of reminding readers that something tangible was being lost.

I think that interpretation probably holds up for most of the magazine – the big, empty boxes are a constant reminder that something here isn’t right. But in the opening interview with Shumon Basar the missing images take on another significance, drawing the reader’s attention to the horrific images they have already seen so many times over recent months, and encouraging them to think about them, rather than glossing over them.

I hope the video above gives an impression of how this absence of images works differently according to the different contexts – another example of Real Review’s clever and ambitious exploration of ‘what it means to live today’.

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